El Torcal De Antequera, Spain – Everything You Need To Know

Hidden inland in the province of Malaga, El Torcal de Antequera offers one of the most spectacular karst landscapes in Spain, and in the whole of Europe which definitely makes hiking in this spectacular a thing that shouldn’t be missed while visiting Andalusia. This is a place where you’ll feel that you moved to another planet. In addition, plenty of surrealistic rock formations will leave you speechless. Noteworthy is also the fact that El Torcal de Antequera was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.

El Torcal de Antequera makes a great half a day trip from Antequera, or a one-day trip from other cities like Mijas, Malaga or Ronda. So if you want to escape one of the buzzing Andalusian towns for a little while, and want to explore the natural sites – a trip to El Torcal de Antequera is the thing you definitely want to do. So come with us on a hike through this magical land and discover everything you need to know about El Torcal De Antequera.

El Torcal De Antequera Spain - Everything You Need To Know

El Torcal De Antequera, Spain – Everything You Need To Know 

El Torcal de Antequera, Spain – how it all started? 

To understand how El Torcal de Antequera came to life, we need to go back in time. It all started around 150 million years ago, in the Mesozoic age, when limestones were safely tucked under the sea waters. During the Tertiary era, two tectonic plates collided, and the seabed was uplifted to an elevation of over 1300 meters. Over the next millions of years, a series of cracks, fractures, and faults were shaped by erosion caused by wind, rain, freezing temperatures, etc, and sculpted the spectacular landscape we can admire today. 

If you want to take a good look at these surrealistic rock formations you should definitely choose to go on a hike in El Torcal de Antequera.  

Hiking in El Torcal de Antequera

El Torcal de Antequera has 3 walking routes to offer (green, yellow, and orange), which vary in length and difficulty. All of them are well marked and are great even for beginners as they don’t require too much effort. But you’ll definitely want to watch out for slippery stones, especially after rain. 

Green trail 

The green trail is the easiest and shortest, but no less beautiful. It’ll give you a taste of what the whole place has to offer. 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1.5 km
  • Time: 45 min
  • Route: Round trip
  • Starting point: Upper car park  
  • Ending point: Visitor Centre

Yellow trail 

The yellow route will take you to what is known as ‘Las Ventanillas’ (The Windows), providing some stunning panoramic views of the valley from 1200m a.s.l. 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.8 km
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Route: Round trip
  • Starting point: Upper car park
  • Ending point: Visitor Centre

Yellow and green trails share the same route from the upper car park until the fork crossing, and also a short part of the last section leading to the Visitors Centre. 

Things you need To Know Before Hiking at El Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal De Antequera - Everything You Need To Know
El Torcal de Antequera Rock Formations
El Torcal de Antequera Magical Rock Formations

Orange trail

Orange trail, the route to “Torcal Alto”, is the most demanding of all three, as the terrain is more rocky and irregular. 

  • Difficulty: Medium 
  • Length: 3.6 (one way) / 7km (back and forth)
  • Time: 4 hours (back and forth)
  • Route: One way
  • Starting point: Lower car park
  • Ending point: Upper car park / Lower car park

For more details check out hiking route maps on the official El Torcal de Antequera website

Also, chances are high that during your hike you’ll spot various animals. You can search for mountain goats, griffon vultures, ocellated lizards, foxes, badgers, or weasels. 

Animal of El Torcal de Antequera - Mountain goat
Animals of El Torcal de Antequera - Mountain goat

Mirador Las Ventillas

Sooner or later you’ll arrive at the Torcal Alto Visitor Centre. There you can grab a drink or snack, and use the toilets. Right next to it you’ll find Mirador Las Ventillas, a viewpoint from which you can admire spectacular surrounding areas.

Mirador Las Ventillas El Torcal de Antequera
View from Mirador Las Ventillas El Torcal de Antequera Spain

Bonus. Mirador Diego Monea  

While visiting El Torcal de Antequera make a short stop at Mirador Diego Monea. It’s located right beside the road that leads to El Torcal so you can’t miss it. From there you can admire the views stretching all the way to the horizon. Try to imagine how it must have looked like millions of years ago when it was submerged under the sea with all the animals roaming freely everywhere. 

Mirador Diego Monea El Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal de Antequera view from Mirador Diego Monea

El Torcal de Antequera – Practical information summary

Finally, we have compiled a list of the most important things you need to know before visiting El Torcal de Antequera. 

  • You can visit all year-round
  • Entry to the park and parking is free 
  • The Torcal de Antequera is always open, but it’s recommended to visit it during the day
  • Paid guided tours through el Torcal de Antequera are available; learn more on the official website
  • The visitor Centre has toilets and a restaurant
  • Wear comfortable sturdy footwear, as the terrain is slippery and rocky with many loose rocks
  • At the altitude of 1200m, it’s colder and windier than in the lower parts so don’t forget to take warmer clothes, a raincoat and a windbreaker
  • On a sunny and hot days take a cap and suncream
  • Pets are allowed but have to be on a leash all the time
  • Overnight parking isn’t allowed 
  • Drone flying isn’t allowed 
  • Don’t feed wild animals, and don’t scare or chase them
  • Don’t leave any rubbish, and pick up rubbish you find along the trail
Practical information - muddy terrain
El Torcal de Antequera - Practical information Route Signs

How to get to the Torcal de Antequera, Spain?

El Torcal de Antequera is located 15km from Antequera, 50km from Malaga, 100km from Ronda or 65km from Caminito del Rey

The best way to reach El Torcal de Antequera is by car or taxi, as there isn’t public transport that will get you to the national park. So if you don’t drive, you’ll have to take the train or bus to Antequera and take a taxi from there, which is a 40-minute drive. 

There are two parking lots in the area: upper car park and lower car park. Choose earlier which trail you want to hike, and leave your car on the right parking (green/yellow trail – upper; orange – lower). 

We recommend going early in the morning, especially on the weekends and holidays, as the parking fills up quickly.

Our opinion about El Torcal de Antequera

For us, hiking in El Torcal de Antequera was a great experience, as we’ve never seen surrealistic rock formations like this before. The route was easy and pleasant to walk. We even managed to locate a few local animals. The only thing we would do differently was to come a little bit earlier to be able to discover everything that is there. We arrived in the second part of the day and there was simply no time left to see everything as we would like to.

So if you’re looking to do something unique in Andalusia, be sure to visit El Torcal de Antequera and reserve enough time to enjoy it.

Where to eat in El Torcal de Antequera? 

There’s only one restaurant available onsite – Restaurante Torcal Alto, located in Torcal Alto Visitor Centre.

Where to sleep near El Torcal de Antequera? 

Your best option is to choose a place in Antequera which is only a 20min drive from El Torcal de Antequera. Check out our post “Top 10 Things To Do In Antequera” and discover our accommodation recommendations.

El Torcal de Antequera - Map of places

2 thoughts on “El Torcal De Antequera, Spain – Everything You Need To Know”

  1. When people say Spain, I instantly think of touristy, unique, and beautiful architecture. At no point did I think about hikes and trails, so this post really got me excited. I’m planning to go to Seville in the next few months. This just convinced me to take a detour to Malaga so I could easily go to El Torcal De Antequera. Do you recommend any other spots to see? Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi Dakota! Glad you found this post helpful 🙂 Andalusia is full of beautiful places. Besides El Torcal De Antequera we can recommend Caminito del Rey – it’s another beautiful trail. If you also want to see some towns take a look at Ronda, Frigiliana, Mijas Pueblo, Antequera, Benalmádena Pueblo, or Estepona – you can find a post about each of them on our website. Enjoy your trip! 🙂

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